I recommend that everyone reading this write down the following ingredients: soaked mung beans, brown rice, onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Okay, the hard part is over. Now all you do is simply throw everything into a pot, simmer for 45 minutes, and eat it for three days. That's it? That's it!
Traditionally, it consists of yellow split mung beans, however I like to use green mung beans that are soaked and/or sprouted for deeper detoxification properties. I also find these more effective for the modern world than the split version (which yields less enzymes than the sprouted green beans) when it comes to cleansing.
Kitcheree is an ayurvedic and yogic traditional dish that works to balance the digestive system, detoxify the body, and cleanse the mind. It does this in very simple, yet profound ways.
The Trinity Roots
Garlic, ginger, and onions are powerful alone but when you combine them in a dish, you create a high sulfur, high selenium, and high antioxidant formula that helps to increase circulation, move out old lymphatic fluid and wastes, greatly reduce inflammation, and detoxifying the tissues in the body. When you combine curry powder, which contains turmeric, with these you amplify its ability to reduce inflammation. Sulfur is also a collagen generator which creates new beautiful skin, strong ligaments, and flexible bones - which you want!
Mung Beans and Brown Rice
Not only are mung beans highly detoxifying, they are also cooling for the body, good for your liver, they act as a diuretic, and are even good for recovering alcoholics (Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods). Mung beans are one of the easiest beans to digest, yielding no gas or bloating - especially when they're soaked and even more so when they're sprouted. Combine them with nourishing, cleansing, and pH balancing brown rice and you have yourself a complete protein that strengthens, heals, and detoxifies the body without messing with blood sugar levels. This is ideal for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
The foundation of a kitcheree cleanse is, essential, mono-dieting. This occurs when one eats only one type of food or one type of dish consistently for several days to several months. Mono-dieting allows the body's digestive organs to anticipate which enzymes need to be made so that digestion can become faster and more efficient. Once the body is used to eating the same food, those organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas) can finish digesting early, get more rest, and turn more of their energy toward self-cleansing, restoration, and regeneration.
Cleansing The Palate
Eating simple food without salt, sugars, and oils cleanses the palate and, the longer the mono-diet is endured, the more sensitive your taste buds will become to these foods when they are included in your diet again. This is helpful, as it makes one less tolerant for overly fatty, salty, and sweet things.
Cleansing The Mind
This is, without a doubt, the most challenging aspect of any cleanse. When you're eating only kitcheree you are free from the distraction of what to cook, or what to eat, or what to buy. You're free from the constant nagging voice in your head that wants you to satisfy your sweet tooth, or snack on something to make it through a task you're working on. The freedom from these distractions sounds lovely, but it can be quite hard to deal with. When we're not distracted AND we're cleansing years of chemicals and feelings from our bodies we tend to become irritated, panicked, emotional, anxious, angry, and just about every other emotion one can think of.
For a successful cleanse, it is vital to have support from your friends and family. You have to set up something for yourself to focus on that isn't food oriented. Don't start a cleanse if you're about to embark on a stressful project, or are going away for one week to your favorite place with all your favorite foods. I love to cleanse when I have several days away from work and people, and I can just compose music all day, read books, hike, go on walks, and simply take it easy. Not being bound by time or aware of time is extremely helpful during a cleanse as well, since we're so time-programmed as to when we should eat and snack.
So, you think you're ready to try a kitcheree cleanse? I think you are too! It's so easy and delightful that you may become addicted to it, which is entirely perfect! One can do a kitcheree cleanse for several weeks to several months. Your body will tell you when it's craving something new. For my kitcheree recipe, go here. You can use the individual spices I have on that page, or you can simply use 1-2 tbsp. of curry powder instead. Either one will be beneficial. Just make sure your curry powder is salt-free.
Once you make your kitcheree, eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 3-10 days. You do not need to worry about coming off the cleanse in any specific fashion since you're already eating. Just be gentle and do not eat portions that are too filling for the first few days. To speed up the cleanse, replace breakfast with raw fruit or herbal tea and only eat kitcheree for lunch and dinner. Steamed vegetables or salads can be served on the side with kitcheree as long as you stick to the guidelines of no oil, no salt, and no sugar.
Eating your way to being more fit, creative, young, healthier, and energetic is certainly one of my favorite ways to transform my body. I hope this information helps to transform yours.
I kept saying I would write an article focusing on the confusion of olive oil and its health benefits. This may be hard for some people to read, but I just have to break it to you: olive oil is not the magic bullet we believe it to be. Most olive oils, in fact, are just concentrated, rancid fat. They offer no vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibers, proteins, or carbohydrates. It is no more than your average processed food.
"But what about all of these Mediterranean Diet studies?" Well, what about them? What is the Mediterranean anyway? The Mediterranean is the area of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In Europe we have Spain, France, and Italy, in Asia we have Lebanon and Israel, and in Africa we have Egypt and Morocco - to name a very short few. That's one heck of an area to name a dietary philosophy off of. Especially when one considers that each country (and continent) has a completely different diet.
Portugal, Southern Italy, Spain, Southern France, Greece (the island of Crete), and parts of the Middle East were studied to determine the benefits of a "Mediterranean diet". Out of all of the countries studied, the island of Crete was the most heavily researched, where over 700 men were tested. All men lived in the countryside, ate little to no meat, rarely had dairy, only had fresh fruit for dessert, and consumed a plant-based diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. They also drank two glasses of wine daily, with meals, and replaced all fats with olive oil. They, on average, took in about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil each day.
It's important to understand that the olive oil they were consuming was fresh, local, and unfiltered. It still contained some fiber, antioxidants, and most likely did not become rancid after being shipped thousands of miles over sea, only to sit in a warehouse for many months. More importantly, if their olive oil had turned rancid their plant-heavy diet (namely of fruits and vegetables) provided them with ample antioxidants to counteract any free radical exposure from the oil. Furthermore, the vasodilation that occurs from eating a whole food, plant-based diet would protect the heart by keeping the circulation strong, allowing the arteries to easily repair from any damage, and maintain a good blood flow to the heart.
These men ate very little to no processed sugar and virtually ate no refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates and sugar are more often to blame for high cholesterol than fatty foods themselves. You see, when the carbohydrate is refined (white flour, pasta, bread) it is too potent for the body because it contains too much energy and doesn't have the other factors (fiber, bran, and germ) to slowly release the glucose. The carbohydrates are so easily broken down into glucose that the body has to store all the extra energy as fat, which we know as triglycerides. These triglycerides are then stored in the arteries, which prompts the liver to create more cholesterol to "sweep" the arteries clean. No sugar or refined carbohydrates means a less triglycerides and less cholesterol production.
In addition to this, they also lived very active lifestyles. Many of them were farmers and took part in intense labor daily, with adequate sun exposure and detoxification through sweating. These men exercised every day, lived in the beauty of nature, were primarily vegan, ate fresh, local organic produce (that most of them grew themselves), ate only whole foods, and ate virtually no sugar or refined carbohydrates. As you can see, it wasn't the olive oil that kept their hearts healthy. How could researchers ignore all of these factors and report on the olive oil itself? That is what I considered bad researching, bad reporting, and bad business. There's either a lot of money to be made, since there's been no reduction in heart disease even with the increase of olive oil, or the researchers and doctors are equally as confused as the consumers. I would like to believe the latter.
When you read an article about the health benefits of olive oil, the results are usually cherry picked from an entire lifestyle that is never mentioned, or it's the result of researchers finding benefits in the olives themselves. Once the fiber of the olive is separated from the oil, the antioxidants, plant sterols, minerals, and vitamins are also lost. Studies have, however, proven that olive oil on the skin is very beneficial, but then again all fats are. Fats protect the skin from sun damage and aid in the synthesis of Vitamin D-3 from the Sun. Most of us like to believe that more is better, so we use olive oil in excess because it's proven to be "good for us". I don't know how researchers saw that these men exercised, lived in the country, and ate a primarily vegan diet, yet told the public that olive oil was the reason they were healthy and can be the new miracle bullet for the ever-growing plague of American heart disease.
Dr. Robert Vogel has long proved that olive oil does not equal better health. It was actually found to impede blood circulation and cause damage to the endothelial lining of the arteries. While studying the level of circulation, he was able to see how it was affected after the patient ate different types of food. When olive oil was eaten with a cooked meal (in pasta or as a dip for bread) Vogel found that the blood flow would decrease by 31% and wouldn't return back to normal for up to six hours. However, if olive oil was poured over a salad (the key here is raw vegetables) the blood flow still decreased but not as dramatically and it returned to normal much faster. These results are huge! This proves that the vasodilators and antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables were strong enough to help protect the arteries from the otherwise damaging effects of olive oil. This suggests that the fat literally goes into the arteries and slows down our blood flow. You can read more about his findings here. You can also read some information on the nutritional profile that is lost during the processing of oil here.
I believe that any processed food, when eaten regularly, will eventually build up and cause problems in the body. Processed foods can be better thought of as "potent foods". During processing, one part of the food is concentrated while the rest is discarded. The problem is that all parts of the food make up its digestive, nutritional, and therapeutic abilities. You cannot isolate one part and expect it to work in the body without the other parts.
Olives, for example, contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. This keeps the fats protected and delivers them to the body in small, healthy proportions. It takes, roughly, forty olives to make one tablespoon of olive oil - talk about a potent food! Most of us would never eat three jars of olives but it's quite easy to eat several tablespoons of olive oil with bread, which comes before the salad with dressing made of olive oil and the entree sauteed, or baked, in olive oil. We are drowning in olive oil! More importantly, the isolated oil doesn't have the antioxidants and fiber to protect it from becoming rancid. This means that most of us ingesting plant oils, raw on salads or heated in cooking, are most likely ingesting rancid fats. In other words, we are drinking a concentrated source of liquid, free radical-laden fat.
The only exception is pure, fresh, cold-pressed flax oil. Flax oil is the only oil that dilates the vessels, helps to reverse heart conditions, and inhibits tumor growth. I recommend Barlean's flax oils because each order is pressed when the store makes it. Other brands are likely sitting around for several months, becoming rancid. Barlean's also sends their product cold and most health food stores know to put it in the refrigerator upon arrival. Their bottle is also important as it is black and has an oxygen-proof cap. This ensures that light will not penetrate the bottle and leach its nutrients, while the cap keeps it from oxidizing and turning rancid. If you don't care for oil (I know I don't) you can use ground flax seeds daily in water, oatmeal, in breads, or sprinkled over salad and meals. Use 2-4 tablespoons each day. The ALA in flax allows vegetarians to turn it into the sought-after DHA and EPA found in most fish products.
My diet isn't always perfect, but I have stayed away from oil since March of this year and I can tell you that whenever I do eat it I have a hard time enjoying it. I never noticed how rancid it was before, or how much it coated my mouth and throat. Fat is very hard to digest, making olive oil a bad combination for salads and other types of food. A lot of raw vegan dishes are full of nuts, salt, and olive oil. I believe this is why many people trying a raw diet have digestive upset with excess bloating and gas. Removing oil from your diet can leave you feeling lighter, may help you lose weight, may assist in clearing up skin conditions, and it may allow you to fill up on whole food calories rather than isolated oil calories.
One tablespoon of olive oil gives us 120 concentrated empty fat calories, a negligible amount of vitamins and minerals, little to no antioxidants, no carbohydrates, no proteins, and no fiber. Whereas 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa gives us 150 calories and is saturated in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates (great for balancing blood sugar), easily digestible "complete" protein, and fiber. When we eat whole foods we take in greater amounts, become fuller on less calories, and gain the nourishment that we need.
It is no wonder why nutritionists have coined the term "overconsumptive malnutrition". We are eating hundreds, even thousands of excess calories and getting absolutely no nutrition. The brain is begging for nourishment and we're signaled to keep eating and eating. The only sure way to live a healthy life, while maintaing a healthy weight, is to eat a diet that is plant-based and made up of whole foods. That would include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Do I think olive oil is healthy? Absolutely not.
What do you think?
Don't let the doctors take your colon!
Diverticulitis is an extremely painful, serious condition where little pockets form in the colon/digestive tract and become inflamed and infected by food. The condition begins as diverticulosis and this is just a fancy way to say that the pockets have formed in the diverticulum. Diverticulitis is when it becomes inflamed and/or infected. Remember, a diagnosis doesn't mean you're frozen in a state forever - it just means that's where you are at the moment.
There are dozens of ways to heal this that do NOT include surgeries. Most doctors will prescribe a liquid diet of milkshakes, protein powders, and a solid diet that is typically processed flours, meats, and cheeses. Why is such a horrible diet prescribed for something that came about from horrible dieting? The answer is low fiber. If peristalsis can be halted, the pain and discomfort will go away and then the inflammation will eventually cease. The problem with this is that it's not a long-term solution and it's certainly not healing. It's just a temporary bandage.
Fasting is really the most important, safest, way to heal diverticulitis and most other stomach issues. I know this because I did it myself. Before I lived a holistic lifestyle I was on an intense acne medication for 1 year called Accutane. It's an endocrine-disrupting high dose vitamin A that stops oil production and dries up the body to such an intensity that it's nearly impossible to make pimples - or hormones, enzymes, saliva, etc. I would wake up in the middle of the night choking because I had no lubrication. This medication is why I became a holistic nutritionist as it completely destroyed my liver and digestive system - all of which I've healed. My body is actually healthier now than it's ever been - before or after Accutane.
One major side effect is diverticulosis/diverticulitis. I remember my first "attack". I was eating a huge bag of organic popcorn with cayenne pepper on our way to a romantic getaway in Vermont. I also ate a ton of gluten and soy (two prominent intolerances of mine) thinking I could handle it after years of abstinence. I was rudely awakened by an 8 hour cycle of extreme cramps, implosive gas, severe nausea, and an overall sensation of death! I ate nothing but grapes and oatmeal for days until it got better. For a good year after that I would have these attacks in the middle of the night. I would have tremors, involuntary shaking, sever nausea, intense stomach pain, and the most painful, otherworldly sensations while using the bathroom. I would become hot, sweaty, dizzy, and feel like I was going to pass out. Once I emptied my bowels I felt great. I knew this meant that my diverticulosis had become -itis and I had major inflammation and rawness in my colon. Anything moving by felt like a sharp knife through my system. I knew this meant it was time to fast.
So I embarked on a 3 day juice fast. It was late January. I never recommend long fasts in the Winter, but this was an emergency. I lived off of carrot juice and green juices that I made myself. The first night I woke up and experience the most painful bowel movement of my life. I was disappointed because it was the start of my fast, but I knew my body had work to do and things to clear out. The second day was already better. I had half the pain and was able to sleep through the night. I felt even better on the third so I decided to keep fasting. On day 4 I had a breakthrough. The day started out awful. I had severe lower left rib pain and general discomfort that would wind up through my whole body, wrap around my jaw, and just made my whole self feel tense, inflamed, and sick. My vision would have pulsating specs in it when I walked up stairs. When I went to the bathroom the smell was intense and there was a pain and nausea that hadn't been there before. I felt scared, discouraged, but kept on. Finally, after several tiny bowel movements, my body passed what looked like 20-40 little stone-like, foamy orbs along with a huge sweat, sulfurous odor, and (30 minutes later) absolute relief.
The diverticulitis pouches had cleared themselves! I celebrated with 32 oz of green juice will aloe. I felt alive again. My body felt like it was coming back to me. So I kept fasting. I figured if the diverticulitis was cleared then I should still not eat so that everything could repair itself after the trauma of releasing the infected pockets. On day five I awoke and passed a small stool from the minuscule fiber I had ingested from all the juices and there was no pain. So I kept fasting. On the sixth day I fasted on water only so as not to add any fiber to my body. Then on day 7 I broke my fast with boiled spinach for lunch and steamed carrots for dinner. On the 8th day I had fruit porridge for breakfast, a small serving of amaranth for lunch, and steamed sweet potato for dinner.
My digestion has never been so good since. My diverticulitis has totally healed and has yet to come back. With the right diet and some supplements I know I'm able to keep it away. Intense stress and certain foods could definitely bring it back. but at least I know a simple fast will cure it. What I do now to rebuild and keep healthy is this:
- Fruit or fruit porridge for breakfast.
- Have 1-2 tsp. slippery elm for the first several weeks.
- Easily digestible gluten-free grains like millet, amaranth, quinoa, white rice.
- 2 tsp. of spirulina powder daily
- 1 tbsp. of flax oil daily
- 100 billion count probiotic in the morning
- royal jelly in raw honey for the first 30-90 days only (This is a deeply nourishing medicine that is made strong for the Queen Bee. It would be disrespectful to take and take if the situation is not chronic. Only take for up to 3 months so as not over harvest and try to get it locally and organically from someone who loves their bees)
In addition to these things I eat a whole food vegetarian diet and fast on water once a week to maintain digestive rest and balance. I've truly never felt better in my life and, of course, credit the diverticulitis as an angel that introduced fasting and body awareness to me in a very intense way.
If you're dealing with this, or something like it, and want to work with someone who has been through it and is now on the other side do not hesitate to write me.
One of my favorite teas around, Yarrow & Rose make a beautiful combination in the jar and the meadow. Whenever I'm picking yarrow in a meadow it's often growing between big beautiful bushes of white and pink roses. This makes sense to me, as they're both faerie flowers and lend an astringent, toning quality to the entire body. More specifically, yarrow helps tone the digestive system and breaks down toxins in the blood so that they can be flushed out from the body without too many detoxification symptoms like headaches, rashes, or nausea. Roses tone the heart, circulatory system, and feed the capillaries beneath the skin: perhaps this is why drinking roses makes one's skin rosy?
I like to take a big handful of yarrow and a nice handful of roses and throw them into a quart jar. I boil water and fill it to the top and let them steep overnight. In the morning I drink 1-2 cups warmed up on the stove before eating anything to flush my body, tone my organs, and nourish my skin from the inside out!
These are a favorite our home and always are a hit with our friends! Contrary to what you heard, sweet potatoes are not nightshades at all. Meaning, they don't contribute to inflammation. Curry powder is anti-inflammatory, great for the liver, and amazing for digestive fires. When you combine the two, you get a "french fry" that is nutritionally superior to its white, canola-fried, diner friend in that it's loaded with beta-carotene, antioxidants, is restorative to digestive health, and warming to the entire body. The nutrients in sweet potatoes helps the skin retain its glow, tones the kidneys, and eases constipation and nausea.
Get yourself a large sweet potato, sesame oil, curry powder, and tamari. Now, do the following:
1) Slice potato into the desired thickness, thinness, or shapes.
2) Add sliced potato to a bowl and cover with 1-2 tbsp. of sesame oil, 1 tbsp. tamari, and 2 tbsp. of curry powder.
3) Mix well.
4) Spread on a cookie sheet and bake on 425 for 25-35 minutes until crispy - or leave them in longer if you wish.
5) Serve with any meal, as a snack, or with your favorite dipping sauces!
Eating fruit for breakfast is one of the best things you can do for your health. You see, fruit is the one food that does not get digested in the stomach. It bypasses the stomach completely and is broken down in the small intestine. This means the stomach can continue resting after sleeping and your body and stay in a fasting mode that helps to cleanse, strengthen, and fortify your system every day. It's a short cut to alkalizing and rebalancing. If you can't eat just fruit for breakfast, have something light with it like organic toast from sprouted grains or some hot porridge. The worst food in the morning is something high in fat and protein like dairy products, nut butters, & meats. Unrefined, whole carbohydrates are the best way to wake up your sleepy body.
This recipe, if I can call it that, is so simple and easy. It takes but 10 minutes or so and can stew while you get ready for work, admire the birds, or tend to other morning rituals. You'll need:
1 apple or pear
1/2 pint of blueberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. slippery elm powder
1 pinch of sea salt
1) Dice the apple and peel it if you desire a smoother porridge.
2) Fill a pot with just a shallow layer of water and place it on the burner.
3) Add apples, berries, cinnamon, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat for 10 minutes.
4) Uncover and mash up the porridge with a spoon to soften the apples further.
5) Like this!
6) Remove from heat and add slippery elm powder.
7) Mix well and pour in a bowl. This makes one serving of warm, delicious apple porridge.
The benefits of such a simple, easy meal like this never fail to impress me. Pectin from the apple is a great fiber that helps to cleanse the colon, detoxify heavy metals from the body, and even absorb and remove radiation! The antioxidants and phytochemicals in the blueberries have potent liver enhancing and restorative properties, along with helping to improve eyesight, skin repair, and clean the blood. The cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels and increase circulation (a must when you're living in the Northeast in February!) and the slippery elm soothes and repairs the digestive system by healing inflammation and rebuilding tissue.
All of that comes from this humble bowl of apples and berries! To make this more appealing for children, peel the apples and add a small amount of maple syrup to mimic apple sauce or a sweet treat. You may also use this as topping for oatmeal, pancakes, or toast. Pears are equally good alternatives for apples if you're wanting more variety as well.
Stay warm and enjoy!
A lot of people, actually. Spirulina is a fishy, dark green algae that has a strong taste but an even stronger healthy punch. The amazing thing about Spirulina, like most not-so-palatable foods, is that your body will gain so may benefits from its nutrients that it will soon start to like and then actually crave the taste of it. I take my Spirulina shaken in a jar - never stirred. Add 2 cups of slight lukewarm water and 1 tsp. of Spirulina powder to a jar and shake well. This will get all the clumps out and slightly dilute the flavor.
The BIG Benefits of Such A Little Plant
I don't even know where to start as there are so many. Spirulina can and has (for me):
- balance blood sugar very well
- cleanse the colon and promote regularity
- heal internal wounds and cuts like ulcers, diverticulitis flare-ups, and other digestive traumas
- rich in chlorophyll it acts as an internal deodorizer so you will smell like a garden - not compost
- very high in Vitamin A which can help improve eyesight, skin, and add moisture to the entire body
- can be healing for the mucus membranes: mouth, anus, vagina
- builds strong blood with chlorophyll (mimics iron) and vitamin K for proper clotting and healing
- detoxifies the system of any pathogens and bacteria with high chlorophyll content
- high in antioxidants help it prevent oxidative stress to the brain, heart, and lungs
- has been very helpful with cancer and other immune disorders
- improves appetite and rejuvenates the digestive tract
- can help the body's B-12 stores in Vegetarians and Vegans
I take 2 teaspoons daily. One in water upon rising, and one in my food in the afternoon or evening. This miraculous algae has helped me cure asthma, acne, diverticulitis, weakness, malnutrition, and fatigue from stress. It was one of the first greens I ever took when entering the holistic world in 2004. Try a cup for yourself and start slow. Have 1/2 tsp. daily and work up to 2.
You'll be glad you did.
Fast food happens to all of us, but it doesn't have to mean GMOs, animal products, or drive thrus. It can be as easy as a few ingredients deliciously paired together. This sandwich is that kind of food - or should I say dat kind of food. Behold, "DAT" open faced sandwich.
All you need is:
Ezekiel sprouted, gluten-free bread
1/2 ripe avocado
maine coast apple smoked dulse strips
1) Toast your Ezekiel bread to desired texture.
2) Smash half an avocado and spread over the toasted bread.
3) Layer generous amounts of smoke dulse strips.
4) Then top with juicy tomato and eat!
This Dulse Avocado Tomato (DAT) sandwich is loaded with nutrition. First, you're getting your week's worth of iodine from the dulse which is good for your thyroid, detoxifying to radiation, and preventative against many different cancers. The apple wood smoked style makes it taste like bacon! The avocado is supplying you with over 1/2 your vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. The sprouted bread is giving you lots of fiber and flavor - but NO gluten or weird starches. The tomato is loaded with lycopene for blood cleaning, prostate health, and protection against the Sun. Not like the latter is a real problem right now in upstate NY.
So there you have it. A simple, 5 minute breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack to nourish and feed your brain and body.
Amaranth is a forgotten grain. It's the hardest to find in a store, on a menu, and even at specialty shops and restaurants. The taste and texture may contribute to it. We often liken the smell of dried amaranth to grasshoppers and the texture to slime. I know I'm not doing a good job at proving why you should eat this but, don't worry, I will!
Amaranth is the most mineral-dense grain on the planet. Or at least that I'm aware of. This is why it smells so strong and tastes so unique. Amaranth is loaded with calcium. magnesium, iron, trace minerals, and protein. In fact, it has more digestible protein than any other plant sources AND it is complete in that it is full of L-Lysine: the amino acid that most grains lack.
L-Lysine is a superstar amino acid that helps prevent and treat viruses and viral breakouts like shingles, herpes, and possibly even HIV. It protects the immune system, strengthens the skin, and helps create healthy muscles and collagen structures like tendons and ligaments in the body.
It is said that there is no malnourishment wherever Amaranth is eaten. As far as growing it, it grows nearly anywhere, in any climate, and can easily thrive in poor soil, drought conditions, and the cold. The nutrient density of this grain and its ability to grown anywhere makes it extremely beneficial for a world that is running out of whole foods and room. This grain is sustainable, vital, and SO good for you.
Now, about the taste, how does one work with it? I recommend starting with this tasty breakfast porridge. You'll need:
1 cup amaranth
1 cup coconut milk from the can (or homemade/store bought nut milks)
1/2 pint blueberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
maple syrup or raw honey
1) Simply add 1 cup of amaranth to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, simmer and keep covered for 15-25 minutes until most water is absorbed. It should resemble cream of wheat porridge.
2) Add everything else except for the walnuts or honey, stir well, and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes.
3) Pour a serving into a bowl, top with crushed walnuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of your preferred sweetener (optional) and enjoy this warm, creamy, delicious and nutritious breakfast!
It makes a great snack and post-workout food as well. Your kids will love it if you add organic cocoa powder to it and chill it in the fridge. It tastes like a decadent chocolate pudding that way. Perhaps the kid in you will love it too?
I first discovered Amaranth many years ago when I was detoxing my liver and curing Candida in my gut. Amaranth porridge was an essential part of my diet. It's a great food for anyone with stomach issues as the grain is less abrasive because it creates a soothing mucilage rather than an abundance of indigestible fiber like wheat or brown rice.
Oh, the many benefits of ginger! Warming to the body, detoxifying for body, cleansing to the liver, softening to the tissues, thinning to mucus, circulating for the blood, beautifying for the skin, intensifying for the chi, toning for the sexual organs, healing for the stomach, strengthening for the heart, and appealing to the taste.
This ginger tea recipe of ours will surely keep your immune system strong throughout the Winter or, if you're already sick, have this in addition to 4 cups ofhot yarrow infusion while taking hot baths for 3 days.
1) Begin with boiling 4 cups of water in a pot on the stove.
2) While the water boils, chop ginger into big chunks like so.
3) Add the ginger to the pot and let it boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for another 15.
4) Pour the water into a mug through a strainer and add:
- The juice from half a lemon.
- 1 dropper full of Mullein tincture
- 1 dropper full of Echinacea tincture
- I teaspoon of local, raw, chemical-free honey*.
Drink this throughout the day and you will be doing your body a lot of good. The lemon is alkalizing, which helps bring more oxygen into the blood to flush out pathogens and other anaerobic things like fungi and mold. The Mullein is cleansing to the lymphatic system and helps remove mucus from the lungs. Echinacea is lymph cleansing as well, but really good for boosting the immune system. Local, raw, chemical free honey is nourishing, gentle for upset stomachs, and loaded with special minerals, vitamins, and unknown magic (including natural antibiotics) that help rid the body of bacteria and viruses.
*I will do a larger article about honey, but for now I will say this: I'm a pure vegetarian and strongly believe in animal welfare but I find local, raw, organic/chemical-free honey to be helpful for the bees during their crises the same way an animal sanctuary is for retired farm animals. As long as they're leaving plenty of honey for their bees to live off of throughout the Winter, I consider it ethical. Honey is truly a food straight from the Goddess. That being said, it should only be used in small, medicinal amounts out of respect.